create / 2015

City with a Heart of Art: 1000 New Artworks made in & by LA in 2016

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Heart of Art Gallery

The Heart of Art Gallery proposes: 1000 New Artworks made in & by LA in 2016! With a grant of... 100,000 dollars, we will outreach to the over 10,000 women, youth and LGBTQIA artists in LA, to ask them to help produce 1,000 new works of art in 2016, to exhibit at one or more of our 100 community art events during the year, and continue our outreach at at least 10 university events, all by rebuilding our 1 Heart of Art gallery.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA
  • South Central LA, Exposition Park area

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Conduct research
  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders

How will your proposal improve the following “Create” metrics?

  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Arts establishments per capita
  • Concentration of manufacturing activity in LA
  • Patents per capital
  • Jobs per capita
  • Minority- and women-owned firms
  • Gini coefficient
  • Venture capital investment
  • Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”) (Dream Metric)
  • Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions (Dream Metric)
  • Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating (Dream Metric)
  • Unemployment rates (and opportunities) for the formerly incarcerated (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to create.

The Heart of Art Gallery has existed in South/Central LA for four years thanks to the passion and pocketbooks of founders Kenia Gutierrez and Bell Diaz, and donations by our artists. Our mission is to provide a safe space to create. We have seen thousands of artists create, show and perform in our space, yet we are the only space in our part of the city that allows this creativity.

Heart of Art has exists independently, employing and engaging some of the most marginalized and talented artists in Los Angeles. The majority of our artists are women and queer people of color, and our venue in South Central Los Angeles provides an oasis of support and opportunity for them to create, highlight their work and cultivate their skills.

Unfortunately, this fall our gallery became a target of a series of anti-LGBTQ, anti-woman attacks and has been forced to close our doors for the time being. If anywhere in LA needs funding for art and greater opportunities to create in this city, it’s the threatened queer community of artists in South Central Los Angeles.

Outside funding would allow us to relocate to a safe space, reopen our doors, and create an even bigger impact on the LA LGBTQIA community.

Out of our 1 new physical location made possible by this grant, in 2016 we will execute 10 university visit events throughout So.CA, and hold at least 100 gallery community art events, featuring 1,000 NEW pieces of art, created by the over 10,000 women, youth & LGBTQIA artists of LA, all made possible by your generous grant funding of $100,000.

While many galleries look for experience and resumes from a particular class of artists, Heart of Art hosts artists at every level. While art school can be expensive for many artists in our community, we provide a space for shared community learning and exchange of tools and skills. While many artists give up before they begin, we encourage them to keep trying. The testimonials you’ll see in our video attest to how challenging it can be to not be able to afford art school or hanging fees, or simply to make art that no one seems to want to see. By inviting experienced, or first time artists to exhibit at a show, or perform, we give every artist a chance, a reason to stay and CREATE in LA, and a reason to keep going.

We know from experience that art saves lives, especially for the people in our community, who so often struggle with shame and silence related to mental illness and membership in the LGBTQIA community.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Art is not easy to evaluate. As something that is famous for being subjective and whose quality is left up to the eye of the beholder, we propose a quantitative approach to evaluating our works in Los Angeles in 2016. As stated above, our approach will be to simply count the art:

1 location, 10 college visits, 100 public events, 1000 new pieces of art made in LA, 10,000 artists encouraged, all from your $100,000.

We will keep a public calendar on our website tallying our events, our total artists reached, and new art made. Our incredible network of LA artists is ready for this challenge and our community grows every day with new attendees at events, people we meet through our campus outreach and people who find us through social media and our website. By asking them to participate in our challenge by helping to create 1,000 new individual art works, we will achieve a thriving community with a common purpose, to make LA the best place to create!

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support